Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
On Friday our dear Ella Fitzgerald at 4 1/2 years old officially retired, she was spayed. It is bittersweet because it is time, but I still swallow a lump in my throat. I do not know if I can find the words to express how I feel about Ella but am going to try.
Ella came to us in whelp with puppies sired by James Brown. She came to us from a wonderful breeder, Holly at Four Paws Doodles. Ella was the foundation of our breeding program. That is not the way we had planned for it to begin but after learning that the father of the darling chocolate girl we had hoped use had been diagnosed with hip dysplasia we elected not to proceed with testing and change our plan. We had already
welcomed our number one stud man, Micah, but he was too young to complete his testing. At a cross road we were blessed to happen upon Holly and of course Ella Fitzgerald. Due to come into heat anytime Holly agreed to retain Ella and breed her for us, she kept her long enough to confirm via ultra sound and then passed the torch to us.
We picked Ella up late on a Friday evening at the airport. She was timid initially and gosh who could blame her? Poor thing was hormonal, had a lengthy travel, left her family to have strangers peering into her crate beckoning her to come out and went from cold weather to well, summertime in February. Initially she responded best to my son who was nine at the time. She stayed near his side, let him handle her and her leash freely and would only get back into the car for a vet visit the following day with Nicholas leading the way. Surely her response to Nick was a result of the love imprinted upon Ella by Holly’s own four children. It did not take long for her to warm to us but it was a mere appetizer of what would unfold before us.
Ella allowed us to welcome with her our first litter on March 29, 2008. What a glorious litter it was and I do know that the families of those puppies would agree. Since that initial litter, Ella and Micah provided many families with forever furkids as a result of two more litters. It is the goal of many reputable breeders, myself included, to retire breeding girls early ~ this allows the greatest portion of their life to be that of a very pampered pet rather than a ‘career gal’. Truly if we really are that adamant about providing magnificent pets to others it must begin with us setting that example.
What I could not have envisioned prior to this experience was how life changing it would be. For me it has always been about lives that are touched, the stories, the process of being blessed in the midst of providing a blessing to others. Not just to their own families but in many instances countless others.
Several of our dogs have gone on to become therapy dogs, but there are many who are not official therapy dogs that I would still classify as such. There are those who have assisted in the heart mending of their human families who thought they could never make room in their heart for another dog love again like those who took up residence there previously. There are those that have sparked a drive in their humans to keep going in spite of health or economic issues. Of course there are also those who have assisted in rolling back the years of their older new fur siblings. I could go on and on, but you get the idea ~ ’therapy dog’ is a very broad description, not one that can be limited to formal training and certification. I like to think of therapy as where one heart joins another that by itself is limited and beautiful results are the fruition.
To that end the beauty that Ella has brought to our lives is endless. She has taught us much about unconditional love. She has enlarged our hearts and stretched our minds. She has even been the vehicle in which we were taught a bit more about patience and being humbled. I suspect we will be adding to the list of all that Ella has bestowed upon us through her presence in our life, as will those that are our extended family through Ella’s pups.
Thank you for allowing me a few moments to elaborate about Ella and share much that we have had the pleasure of celebrating. Of course if you are reading this and have been touched through Ella I would love to read your words and share the memories that have been, are and will be.
Wishing you abundant blessings ~